A new report published in the latest issue of Nature could lead to an improved understanding of Parkinson's disease.
Bernardo Sabatini, Takeda Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, led a team that found why the standard treatment for Parkinson's disease is often effective for only a limited period of time.
They discovered it is to do with dopamine neurons in the striatum, a region of the brain involved in both movement and learning.
"These findings highlight how little we actually know about the most basic features of cell identity in the brain," said Mr Sabatini.
Anatol Kreitzer, an assistant investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease in San Francisco, described the findings of the study as remarkable.
Last month, researchers in the Taub Institute at Columbia University Medical Centre found that a protein considered to be one of the hallmarks of familial Parkinson's disease is the underlying mechanism behind common sporadic forms of the condition.
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